Two Palestinian attackers killed in West Bank
JERUSALEM // Two Palestinians were killed on Monday as they allegedly tried to stab Israeli police in the West Bank city of Hebron while a third Palestinian was shot and wounded after police claimed he stabbed and wounded two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem.
The two attacks followed a bloody weekend in which four Palestinians were killed while allegedly attacking Israelis, raising fears of a return to the near-daily on-sight executions of Palestinians seen at times over the last year.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that in Hebron, two assailants tried to stab soldiers guarding a checkpoint, lightly wounding one officer before the troops opened fire, killing the attackers.
The officers were securing a holy site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Ms Samri said.
Earlier on Monday, a Palestinian stabbed two Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem’s Old City before being shot and critically wounded, Ms Samri said. A 38-year-old female police officer suffered wounds to her neck and was badly injured, while a second officer was recovering from injuries.
Ms Samri said the assailant is in his 20s and a resident of east Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem attack occurred outside Herod’s Gate, near a bustling commercial avenue of east Jerusalem. Police ordered the shops in the area closed on Monday.
Over the weekend, four Palestinians, one of whom held Jordanian citizenship, were shot dead during alleged assaults on Israelis, according to Israeli authorities.
Jordan has demanded a detailed explanation from Israel about the killing of 28-year-old Said Amro by Israeli forces. Israeli police claimed Amro rushed out of Jerusalem’s Old City armed with knives and tried to stab officers before being shot dead.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the Jordanian foreign ministry has requested a discussion of the incident with Israel’s ambassador.
Since last September, more than 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in a wave of violence. Israel says most were attackers, but the Palestinians have accused Israeli forces of using excessive force and killing people who were not assailants. In the same period, 34 Israelis have been killed in stabbing, car ramming and shooting attacks.
The spike in violence over the weekend spurred the Israeli military to send troop reinforcements to the occupied West Bank. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the potential for violence could rise as the Jewish high holidays approach.
Israel has blamed the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites. The Palestinians say it is rooted in nearly 50 years of military occupation and dwindling hopes for independence.
* Associated Press
Published: September 19, 2016 04:00 AM